“Love conquers all things except poverty and toothache.” ~ Mae West
Money is notoriously known to be one of the main causes of frustration, arguments, breakups and divorces in personal relationships. And what’s remarkable is that similar ‘external circumstances’ – financial hardships due to loss of job, or bad investment decision, or health challenges – lead to different outcomes for different couples.
While some relationships become stronger and bring partners even closer together, others get fractured, often irreparably. As always, money simply magnifies the inner dynamics that already exist in the relationship….
I quite often come across couples where one spouse accumulates a significant credit card debt and tries to hide it from her/his partner in fear of being judged. Or situations when a housewife, who doesn’t have her own bank account, has to ask for permission of her partner to buy something for herself…. Or when one partner acts recklessly with the family money (e.g. makes risky investments, spends uncontrollably, gambles, etc.) and her/his partner is left to deal with the consequences.
Another real life situation: one partner asks for a prenuptial agreement because of disparity in financial situations prior to marriage. For many people request for prenuptial agreement feels wrong or inappropriate. Yet, in my opinion, it is a very reasonable and appropriate request, and it doesn’t mean that s/he doesn’t love you.
When it comes to money, whether it’s business or intimate relationship, clarity and transparency always save you stress and headache down the road. Yes, transparency in partners’ communication, especially about money, is paramount – it can help avoid disappointments, unpleasant surprises, and hurt.
If you are together with another person, it means you’ve agreed to share your good times and not so good times…. You’ve agreed, as a minimum, to be honest, transparent, and fair. Don’t keep your feelings inside – speak to your partner about your concerns, make him/her know how his/her actions make you feel.
It doesn’t help hiding your feelings inside or assuming that your partner acts in a certain way around money. Ask questions, Address your concerns without fear or hesitation. However, find a way to state you concerns without judgements or blame.
Money is one of those ‘things’ that can be used to improve, expand, and create loving and supportive union of two people or become a source of frustration, disappointment and fear.
When all or most of your conversations around money are focused on how many bills you have to pay, how much debt you’ve accumulated on your credit card, how much money you lost in your investments – money becomes a symbol of problems and struggles.
Instead, money can be used as a tool to create true experience of oneness and connection with your partner. Start creating a vision of your dream life together – for instance, a dream vacation, and a dream car, and a dream house you’d like have.
When money becomes a vehicle of experiencing something pleasant, highly desirable and wanted by both partners, it creates a significant positive shift in the relationship. It makes both partners feel good about building the dream life TOGETHER.
You become motivated about creating a joyful, abundant and fulfilling life TOGETHER. You feel that you and your partner are a team in your pursuit of a better life. There is no fear, no judgment, and no blame…just two people dreaming together and creating something that they both desire and are excited about.
So, here are my 3 simple tips how to use money to improve your personal relationship:
- “Talk money” to your partner often. Know what his/her desires, dreams or concerns are. Be proactive with any concerns, look for solutions together.
- Be transparent with your partner about money concerns or challenges. It doesn’t help hiding or keeping your feelings inside or assuming that your partner acts in a certain way around money. Ask questions. Address your concerns assertively yet lovingly. Express your feelings in a way that makes him/her feel respected, not judged.
- Dream together! It’s easier to create a beautiful dream when both partners are excited about it, and focused on creating it together, as a team. Inspire and support each other as you work your way toward creating a beautiful life together. This experience will transform your relationship and your life.
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Until then… stay empowered!
Wealth Architect & Financial Empowerment Mentor